Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Loving Couple (Mithuna)

Period:
Kushan period
Date:
1st–2nd century
Culture:
India (Uttar Pradesh, Mathura)
Medium:
Double-molded terracotta
Dimensions:
D. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm); Diam. 3 15/16 in. (10 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1986
Accession Number:
1986.506.11
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 235
Depictions of loving couples are ubiquitous in early Indian art, occurring in stupa gateways and rock-cut shrines. Although their specific meaning is obscure, they are interpreted as an auspicious life-affirming presence. Another disk, perhaps from the same mold, was excavated at the early urban center of Sonkh, in Mathura, the Kushan-era capital of north India.
Cynthia Hazen Polsky , New York (until 1986; donated to MMA)
Cleveland Museum of Art. "Kushan Sculpture," November 13, 1985–January 5, 1986.

New York. Asia Society. "Kushan Sculpture," February 13, 1986–April 6, 1986.

Seattle Art Museum. "Kushan Sculpture," May 13, 1986–July 13, 1986.

New York. Asia Society. "In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Arts of India, Selections from the Polsky Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 14, 2004–December 10, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pala-Sena Period," 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother India: The Goddess in Indian Painting," June 29, 2011–November 27, 2011.

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